Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Homeless urged not to sleep rough

Homeless person with her dog
Claire said many hostels will not allow her to take her dog with her

Homeless organisations in Edinburgh have urged the city's homeless not to sleep rough this weekend.

With temperatures of -10C forecast, 'Streetwork' the council's charity for the homeless, said it would find emergency beds for those in need.

Claire, 28, said she slept in Princes Street Gardens on Friday, because she cannot get accommodation with her dog.

She said: "Even with our coats on and our sleeping bags and everything, it's really, really bad."

Streetwork's Head of Services, Claire Gibson said: "I would urge anybody who feels that their only option is to sleep on the streets to come to Streetworks 24-hour crisis centre where there's hot food, hot showers, there's help available 24 hours a day.

"And we can make sure people get help, advice and more importantly a bed for the night."

There is a shortage of emergency accommodation in Edinburgh, but the council have said they will be able to provide a bed for anybody who asks.

Claire added: "I've never known it to be this cold."

She begs every day in the hope of making enough money to afford a place to stay.

She added: "If I make enough money, I pay for a Bed and Breakfast for myself but if not, I have to sleep out".

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